I'm teaching high school summer school right now. The kids aren't there because they have to be, they are there because they want to be. This program I'm in is nice because I can pretty much talk about whatever I want. I got an interesting question about evolution, so we discussed it for a while. It wasn't long before I spotted the religious student. He gave himself away when he tried to debunk all of science because of our lack of total understanding of the beginnings of the universe. It seems like there is always one. He was clearly educated in the ways of ID arguments, which I politely disagreed with and moved on.
The sad thing is, he's quite intelligent, kind, mature, and interested in science. He's even good at it as long as it isn't evolution. Unfortunately, he has a very distorted view of science. I've gotten the whole spiel about how both Christian and non-christian scientists agree with ID. I've gotten several ID type questions from him, but I usually side-step them so as not to derail the whole class.
Now to the reason I wrote this post. Today, he gave me a CD with a recording of "Jonathan Park: The Adventure Begins." He went on and on about how AWESOME it is and how much he loves it and how exciting it is and how he has more CD's he'd be happy to lend me and he's just sure I'll love it. He told me that this CD, "gives SOME examples of scientific observations that are valid findings from well respected non-christian and christian scientists." He practically begged me to listen to the WHOLE thing. I smiled, thanked him and felt a knot in my stomach. I suspected what it was and was correct.
Here's a summary from Amazon: "The Jonathan Park Radio Drama is a unique audio series that became an instant hit on Christian radio with the release of the show’s first twelve episodes. Each fast-paced, half-hour episode gives families an example of how their Christian worldview plays itself out in everyday life. Though the stories are fictitious, the creation data presented in each broadcast is based on real research gathered from creation scientists worldwide, and the settings for the stories are based on actual geographic locations. Featured on more than 750 radio outlets around the world, Jonathan Park presents creation science in an engaging story format that the whole family can enjoy."
It's not so bad if a student proposes one argument at a time, but a whole CD worth at once? Ugh.
So here's where I reach out the the TA community. Has anyone listened to this? I tried, but it's just awful. I actually got angry at the lies they are sowing. I mean, I knew they did this, but to actually experience it was like a punch in the throat by the right-hook of my childhood Jesus brainwashing. I should probably finish it, just to truly understand where this kid is coming from.
If this were just some guy off the street I'd take notes and tear each error apart as thoroughly as possible. As it stands, I'm not sure what to do because talking about these things with students is always quite risky, especially as a science teacher. I don't want to blast the kid, it's not his fault he's been lied to his whole life. I'd like to gently nudge him toward actual science, but all the anti-ID stuff I find is quite aggressive and would not be taken well.
I'd like to refer him to a webpage, video, or TV program that refutes ID point by point, but is documentary-like, has no swear words, and never mentions atheism. If any of those isn't met, I doubt it'll do any good whatsoever. Does this exist? If so, I would LOVE to have it in my back pocket...I'm sure this isn't the last (it's not the first) time I'll run into this.